Anaerobic degradation of cyanuric acid, cysteine and atrazine by a facultative anaerobic bacterium

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

A facultative anaerobic bacterium that rapidly degrades cyanuric acid (CA) was isolated from sediment of a stream that received industrial waste water effluent. CA decomposition was measured throughout the growth cycle by using a High Performance Liquid Chromatography assay while also measuring the concomitant production of ammonia. This bacterium used CA or cysteine as a major, if not sole, carbon and energy source under anaerobic, but not aerobic conditions in a defined medium. The cell yield was greatly enhanced by the simultaneous presence of cysteine and CA in the medium. Cysteine was preferentially used rather than CA early in the growth cycle, but all the CA was used without an apparent lag after the cysteine was metabolized. Atrazine was also degraded by this bacterium under anaerobic conditions in a defined medium.